I have been asked numerous times why I replay baseball seasons. Doing research for the 1959 Los Angeles Dodgers season, I found a book by Donald Honig. In his book, 1959: The Year That Was, provided the best answer. From opening leaf of the book, he wrote:
It might almost be said that the most enchanting part of baseball lies not watching it, but in remembering it. No sport lends itself so effortlessly to memory, to conversation; no sport has so graphic an afterlife in its statistics; nor has any been photographed so thoroughly and excitingly.
Beginning with 1901, the year most historians identify as the dawn of baseball’s “modern era,” there has been nearly 90 seasons, with no two remotely alike. The mention of a certain year evokes the memory of a team, the image of a man, or the drama of a moment. For many fans, it is all so vivid that baseball has become for them a long calendar of historical events.
Every season begins the same, with everyone equal on Opening Day, stirring with optimism and anticipation. And every season ends the same way, with surprises and disappointments, among teams and individuals both. No baseball summer has ever been , or can be dull. No baseball summer has ever been forgotten, for every one has been a source of stories and numbers, many of which have become part of our nation’s folklore.
It is the purpose of this series of books to make it happen one more time.
Baseball is the American game. Long after the steroids era has passed, there will still be baseball. Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, Sandy Koufax, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and all of the players of our past will still be playing as long as we continue to remember them. Each replay season, I take my place on the first step of the dugout and look out onto a diamond where the glory days of the past live on.
Through the replays I have developed not only an historical perspective of the game, but an appreciation for the role each player, no matter how small their contribution, has given to make baseball the game that it is and will continue to be.